Prunus x yedoensis 'Akebono': Daybreak Yoshino Cherry1
Yoshino Cherry grows moderately fast to 25 feet tall and a bit wider, has beautiful bark marked with prominent lenticels but is a relatively short-lived tree. It has upright branching when young forming more horizontal branching with age, making it ideal for planting along walks and over patios. The white to soft pink flowers which occur in early spring before the leaves develop are sometimes damaged by late frosts or very windy conditions. This is one of the species (along with `Kwanzan' Cherry) in Washington, DC, which makes such a show each spring.
Scientific name: Prunus x yedoensis
Pronunciation: PROO-nus x yed-oh-EN-sis
Common name(s): Daybreak Yoshino Cherry
USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 8A (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: Bonsai; deck or patio; shade; specimen; highway median
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree
Height: 25 to 35 feet
Spread: 25 to 40 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: round, vase
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: double serrate, serrate
Leaf shape: obovate, elliptic (oval), ovate
Leaf venation: pinnate, brachidodrome
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: yellow
Fall characteristic: showy
Flower color: pink, white/cream/gray
Flower characteristics: very showy
Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch
Fruit covering: fleshy
Fruit color: black
Fruit characteristics: attracts birds; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem
Trunk and Branches
Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: thin
Wood specific gravity: unknown
Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: none
Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: yes
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible
Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases
Use and Management
Best used as a specimen or near the deck or patio for shade, Yoshino Cherry also works nicely along walks or near a water feature. Not a street or parking lot tree due to drought-sensitivity. Large specimens take on a weeping habit with delicate branchlets arranged on upright-spreading branches affixed to a short, stout trunk. A lovely addition to a sunny spot where a beautiful specimen is needed. Winter form, yellow fall color, and pretty bark make this a year round favorite.
Provide good drainage in an acidic soil for best growth. Crowns become one-sided unless they receive light from all around the plant, so locate in full sun. Select another tree to plant if soil is poorly drained but otherwise Yoshino Cherry adapts to clay or loam. Roots should be kept moist and should not be subjected to prolonged drought.
Other cultivars include: `Perpendens' - irregularly pendulous branches; `Shidare Yoshino' (`Perpendens') - irregularly pendulous branches.
Aphids cause distortion of new growth, deposits of honeydew, and sooty mold.
Borers attack flowering cherries under stress. Keep trees healthy with regular fertilizer applications.
Scales of several types infest prunus. Horticultural oil can be used to help control scale.
Spider mites cause yellowing or stippling but are very difficult to see. They are usually recognized only after plant symptoms are quite advanced.
Tent caterpillars make large webbed nests in trees then eat the foliage. One defoliation may not be serious and small nests can be pruned out and destroyed. Use Bacillus thuringiensis when the insects are first seen and are still small.
A bacterium causes leaf spot and twig cankers on cherry. Small, reddish spots dry, and drop out, giving a shot holed appearance. Defoliation can be severe when conditions favor disease development. Fertilize infected trees and prune out infected branches.
A fungus causes reddish spots which drop out leaving shot holes. Once the hole appear the leaves may drop. The disease is worse in wet weather.
Black knot causes black swellings or galls on the branches. Branches with galls are pruned out.
Powdery mildew causes a white coating on the leaves.
Yoshino Cherry may be subject to witches broom. Branches are deformed and clusters of small branches form. Infected branches bloom and leaf out earlier. Brooms are pruned out, to help control the disease.